This autumn, Modern Family returns with its fifth season. TelevisionFanatic.com lets you catch up on Seasons 1 through 4 so you can watch all the episodes you may have missed (or want to see again). Plus, Television Fanatic.com is free! The series is an annual favorite, with over 11 million viewers, as well as a critical hit; they have received 17 Emmy nominations so far, among other awards. Its depiction of marriage and family has been especially celebrated, including its rare (for television) depiction of a gay couple and their adopted daughter. The show centers around one nuclear family—a remarried father and his adult offspring—and their respective spouses and children. The family dynamics on this show make it especially modern, offering a twist on the classic setup of mom, dad, and children.
Modern Family continues to be celebrated as a “smart comedy.” Its quirky, over-the-top humor is balanced by, at its core, the story of a remarkably loving family. While Season 5 brought more cemented relationships, where will Season 6 go? Here is a recap of where the three major families are in the show at the end of Season 5 and where viewers can hope that will go next.
Family 1: Jay Pritchett and wife Gloria Pritchett, and son, Manny.
Jay Pritchett (Ed O’Neill) is the family patriarch – his children Claire and Mitchell are focused on as the other two major families on the show. He works as the owner of a closet company. He is realistic, mild-mannered, and masculine (which creates occasional friction with his son). Jay’s wife, Gloria (played by Sofia Vergara), is a fiery stay-at-home-mom from Colombia who is many years younger than her husband. Manny is Gloria’s outgoing and intelligent son from a different marriage. In Season 4, Gloria gives birth to a son, Joe. It will be interesting to see the developments of this family with its new member.
Family 2: Claire Dunphy (Jay’s adult daughter) and husband Phil Dunphy, and children Haley, Alex, and Luke.
Claire Dunphy (Julie Bowen) starts of the show as a stay-at-home soccer mom who is a little overbearing (she was a wild-child in her younger days and fears her children will make the same mistakes she did). She can be seen as a perfectionist, and she puts her family first. Claire is married to Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell), a real estate agent. They have three children: Hayley, Alex, and Luke. By the end of Season 5, Claire is now working for her father at his closet business—no longer a stay-at-home-mom—and Hayley has founded a popular photography website. Hayley has perhaps experienced the most character development in Season 5, transitioning from a typical teenage girl to a character who has matured into being thoughtful, caring, and dynamic. Hopefully Season 6 concentrates on the careers of the two oldest women in the Dunphy family.
Family 3: Mitchell Pritchett (Jay’s adult son) and partner Cameron, and adopted daughter Lily.
Jay’s son, Michael Pritchett (Jessey Tyler Ferguson) is sensitive, uptight and a protective father who works as a lawyer. His husband is Cameron Tucker (Eric Stonestreet), who is a stay-at-home-dad, formerly a music teacher, to their adopted daughter, Lily. Their different personalities complement each other (and sometimes clash). By the end of Season 5, the couple finally get married. One of the best things about this episode was the strengthening of the bond between Mitchell and his father, Jay, who wasn’t always supportive of his son’s sexuality or marriage but walks him down the aisle. What will their marriage be like in Season 6? That’s at least one good reason to tune in.